Dec 202016
 
FRONT__VIEW_1_Large

Front view – future Benina Building

Dear Friends,

 

This year has been full and exciting: an Ambassor’s visit, inaugurations, a star student & a 1st prize, a new clock tower, a new Principal, prostpective students, goverment support and of course, a strong & motivated Rafiki Ya Maisha Kenya team. Now, we are ending this quarter with the biggest news of all …..we are breaking ground at Koshin again!

KTTI is scheduled to open officially next February and in the meantime, we have sourced funding for the largest building of the school. This building is the fourth and last of the central quadrangle: it contains two full classrooms and will be completed with a multipurpose hall that can seat 320-350 people.

This building – the future Benina Building – for the name of the Foundation which has sponsored the project, is designed to hold assemblies, graduations, exam sessions and conferences. In the future, it will house shows, plays, concerts and performances by the students of the planned Talent Center.

Our local architect has drawn up wonderful plans: see & admire the facsimile of the future building below.

Thank you all for your support and your interest which is making this school come more alive than ever! Our generous land donor, Margaret K. visited us in Paris. Please do the same and return the favor. We hope some of you will be able to join us next year in Eldoret, either for the official opening taking place mid-February 2017 or for a fall visit later in the year when the school is fully operational and the weather is on the dry & sunny side.

Thank you my friends – without you this project would be no fun and we certainly would not have gotten this far!

All the very best,

Claire

REAR_VIEW_4_Large

Rear View – closing the quadrangle

Margaret__Claire_Oct_2016_IMG_8584_Large

Claire & Margaret on Champs Elysees, Paris

 

Sep 192016
 
Rafiki announcements in Chepkanga church

Rafiki announcements in Chepkanga church

Dear Rafikis and friends,

The Chepkanga community listened attentively during our last visit in July when Rafiki Ya Maisha International and Rafiki Ya Maisha Kenya spoke at Saint Joseph’s church, Chepkanga. Many families are looking forward to sending their teenaged children for vocational training at the schools we are sponsoring.

Rafiki Ya Maisha was invited to attend a meeting of the Moiben Youth Against Drug Abuse and we were impressed by this local initiative. We have decided to partner with them and support their efforts.

Campus news. From humble beginnings several years ago as a Youth Polytechnic we have now reached the status of a Technical Training Institute. The Kosyn Tecnical Training Institute, known as “KTTI” is an administrative reality! It is a mid-level technical Institute located 15 km from Eldoret town and 20km before Iten town, the world capital of marathon runners.

The first principal of KTTI was appointed on July 15th. We welcome Mr. Ernest Cheruiyot as the piooneering steward of this new school. His credentials as former strategic planner for the famed Rift Valley Technical Training Institute, bodes well for the success of our adventure.

Our friends in Rafiki Ya Maisha and Mr. Cheruiyot are busy coordinating with the local authorities to source funds and equipment to open the Institute in the coming months. Electricity is coming, running water is there, the sceptic tank is going in and the avertizement boards are up on the roads.”This will go a long way in meeting basic requirements in preparation for student amission at Kosyn TTI”, says Mr. Cheruiyot.

We are looking forward to the new developments and hope to give you exciting news at year end!

We are moving fast now and want to thank you for traveling this road with us so far. We are reaching somewhere together!

Claire

Partners:"Youth Group against Drug Abuse"

Partners:”Youth Group against Drug Abuse”

KTTI Principal Ernest Cheruiyot and Claire

KTTI Principal Ernest Cheruiyot and Claire

Jun 212016
 
S.G. Christian Roth greeting Dr. Dinah Mwinzi

S.G. Christian Roth greeting Dr. Dinah Mwinzi

Dear Rafikis and future friends,

 

There is so much exciting news to report as we move towards the opening!

It starts with the official registration of the new Koshyn Technical Training Institute, henceforth locally referred to as KTTI. A great acronym, don’t you agree? See the Certificate issued on April 25, 2016. This means that the school can actually open. The new future Principal is being sourced as I write, along with the Deputy and teaching staff. Equipment is being located and we hope for donations in kind from other schools and from the Kenyan government. The Ministry of Education is aiming for an opening in September.

We are happy to inform you that Dr. Dinah Mwinzi, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and a long-standing friend of Rafiki Ya Maisha arrived in Paris this week! She is leading a team of 4 delegates at the invitation of the Embassy of France in Kenya and is busy developping a partnership with France in the area of technical & vocational training. We are told that the seeds of this project were planted by Rafiki Ya Maisha two years ago when guests of honor H.E. Ambassador Rémi Maréchaux and Cultural Attaché Jean-Pierre Tutin of the French Embassy in Nairobi inaugurated donated classrooms in a ceremony in Koshyn. We are delighted that the spirit of exchange that Rafiki Ya Maisha stands for is developping and gaining ground.

Last but not least, a first Harambee was held by our Kenyan partners on June 18, 2016. A major event! The word “Harambee” in Swahili translates as “let’s pull together” – it was a rallying cry and slogan for the first independant government of Kenya in the 60’s. In East Africa, it refers to an event held by and for the community to raise funds for a charitable purpose. Our fund raiser aims to raise money to put the finishing touches on the Administrative wing and to build the principals’ house. A group of High School finalists planning to apply to the school joined in a dance for the community and their guests for the occasion.

Thank you all for giving these young people the desire to learn a trade and to dream of a productive and open future. You are changing their lives.

Asante sana!

Claire

Dinah Mwinzi & Claire Mathijsen happy in Paris

Dinah Mwinzi & Claire Mathijsen happy in Paris

Harambee: future trainees dancing

Harambee: future trainees dancing

Attachments:

Apr 132016
 
Star Student in front of Sergoek Polytechnic

Star Student in front of Sergoek Polytechnic – march 2016

A plumbing student:

” I am grateful for the support I am offered by the Rafiki Ya Maisha. Thanks to Rafiki Ya Maisha, I was able to identify my talent. I am passionate in plumbing which leads me to self employment.” writes Bernard T., alias Dr. Kanga, a 27 year old student of Sergoek Polytechnic.

” I have learned a lot at the campus in Chepkanga. I used plumbing skills to start a tree nursey and with drip irrigation I save time; this leads to conservation of environment. This is how I raise money for school fees, now I am able to pay in advance, as I save more money for further studies.”

Dr. Kanga’s motivation was been acknowledged March 20th  as was nominated  for an award, becoming the “best student in the county” out of 240 competitors March 20th! This award was delivered by Technoserve, an international organization helping young people to develop their businesses and entrepreneurship courses at Sergoek Polytechnic.


The Ambassador of Ireland:

I'll be back four times!

I’ll be back for a fourth time!

“My first field trip shortly after arriving in Kenya last year was to Koshyn in February, then I came back briefly on a casual basis and today I’m here on an official visit – don’t worry, you’ll see me here again for a fourth time!” said a smiling Dr. Vincent O’Neill as he officially opened the brand new administration building at our Koshyn campus on February 27, 2016.

 

He came from Nairobi for the afternoon event and stressed that Misean Cara, our Irish sponsors, are very proud of our progress in Koshyn. He celebrated the long standing Irish involvement in education in the Rift Valley.


A clock:

Chepkanga students & Clock tower before setting up

Chepkanga students & Clock tower

A clock tower was raised on the roof of the first 2-room building of our Chempkanga campus early March. The teachers and 84 students training in various fields looked on curiously at this mark of distinction: the school looks unique and very different, no other school has this feature. Prof.Margaret Kamar, former Minister of Education, told the students “Congratulations for the good progress. With the clock, Time is of essence. Keep time and use it wisely as the sky is the limit for all Learners”.

These three seemingly random subjects are all connected to YOU. Our Sergoek Youth Polytechnic program is finding pace, style and purpose in a large way thanks to your support.

Irish ambassador and local officials

Irish ambassador and local officials

 

A distinctive style for Chepkanga campus

A distinctive style for Chepkanga campus

 

Opening of admin building at Koshyn

Opening of admin building at Koshyn

Dec 232015
 

New classrooms at Chepkanga campus

New classrooms at Chepkanga campus

Dear friends of Rafiki,

We are closing the year feeling very proud indeed. This year has yielded an exceptional harvest of events: a sizeable grant from Misean Cara (Irish Aid), a visit of the Irish Ambassador, an inauguration by the French Ambassador, an online article in The Daily Nation, 39 graduates from the Chepkanga school, 3 buildings at the Koshyn school. In short, the large visibility of our educational project is gaining traction and we are all riding high. It’s been a really BIG year!

Theresia, local resident and retired English teacher of Koshyn primary, expressed the awe the community feels in a few simple words : « From nowhere to somewhere ».

This translates well in the thoughts of Kibet, 26, a plumbing student who says “I study hard now; I want to generate incomes so that I can be responsible of my own and of my future family.”

 The new buildings coming up at Koshyn Polytechnic are now officially registered with the Kenya Board of Education, a headmaster is being recruited and student registration will start in the new year.The future campus looks ready to go.

 The Polytechnic school at Chepkanga expanded with 3 new classrooms, benefitted from a French volunteer teacher for 2 months and added a former trainee to their staff : Matthew K. is now the electrical instructor at the school which taught him 2 years ago. Matthew is a living testimony to the ‘giving back’ spirit inspired by our school.

Another success of our educational mission lies in two current trainees, Alex and Laban who are the grandchildren of one of our founding members. Isn’t that an exciting development and role model for the community?

Happy celebrations!

Claire Mathijsen

Matthew, Electrical teacher & former trainee

Matthew, Electrical teacher & former trainee

Victor, French volunteer coaching science

Victor, French volunteer coaching science

New Admin building at Koshyn campus

New Admin building at Koshyn campus